12 Mar, 2016

Best essential film festivals to submit your short film or your feature shot using a smartphone, digital camera or a mobile phone

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With Tangerine stealing the show at Sundance, there’s no second thought that as an independent filmmaker all you need to have is passion for what you like to do and nothing else. Tangerine was shot using iPhones, literally. I know, there were professional sound artists and a large amount of time was spent in the post production stage where the editing created magic for the big screen, but the point remains, it was shot on some iPhones coupled with cool Moondog Labs anamorphic adapter lens and steadicam smoothee. Yes, the industry standard 35mm film is the way to go, but that’s if you have all the money. However, for a starter, a first timer this quote sticks on perfectly, “the best camera is the one that’s with you.”

No wonder, the best camera that you have is the one lying next to you or sitting inside you pocket, you smartphone, your modern mobile phone, your digital camera gathering dust on the shelf. I know, you have one and now if you believe you can make something interesting using that and still haven’t been able to then it’s all about your passion and priorities. I’ve know people who started out with their digital cameras and are now making waves, making a name for themselves, proving themselves time and again at prestigious film festivals. Google it and you’ll have motivation everywhere.


Assuming that you’re already through all the initial jitters and you’ve finally made a short film, a micro film or even a feature that’s worth sharing with the world, the best that you an do is upload it online on various video sharing websites like Youtube or Vimeo, but if you are a bit more confident and feel like you’ve got something that needs to be sent to film festivals for recognition the there are thousands of them, some out of the league and some that’ll definitely and happily showcase your talent. And, it works no matter what equipment you’ve used, but if you are a mobile filmmaker, there are a few certain names that you should consider sending your project to. Yes, you can again Google it or hook on to services such as Withoutabox and FilmFreeway  if you haven’t already and search through all the potential film festivals all around the globe that’ll be suitable fit for your film or, you can simply check out the list of some essential film festivals for your mobile film or your digital or smartphone film below. These will not only offer you much required exposure, worldwide recognition, but some amazing awards too.



International Mobile Film Festival


A festival  exclusive only to films shot with mobile phones accepts films that are between 1 and 5 minutes in length. It’s into its fifth year and is a definite number one for your list. You can submit only one film per filmmaker; however, the entries for this year are closed now.



Super 9 Mobile Film Fest


Again, an international film festival dedicated exclusively  to movies made with mobile phones. The best part about Super 9 Mobile Film Fest has to be its acceptance of films up to 15 minutes in duration. You can submit Fiction, documentary, animation, experimental films along with music videos. This year’s deadline is still open with earlybird submissions running till August.



MoMo: Mobile Motion Film Festival


Into its second year and going strong, the MoMo film festival is one of the most talked about festivals for mobile filmmakers these days. It offers Live Screenings, Online Festival and a standard Awards Night Event. You can submit and showcase a short film that runs less than ten minutes or a feature that is more than ten minutes in duration. The entries for this year are closed



MINA: Mobile Innovation Network Australasia


One of the professional longer running mobile film festival, MINA is into its sixth year will have a public screening of films shot using smartphones and mobile phones, GoPro’s or Drones and other Digital pocket cameras in Australia and New Zealand along with featuring them in the official MINA DVD, eBook and it’s International Partner Festivals around the world. The deadline is June and is worth your time.



InShortFF or InShort Film Festival


Another amazing international film festival that accepts submissions from passionate filmmakers from anywhere making films in any genre with any budget and any camera. InShortFF accepts films less than Fifteen minutes in duration. The deadline for this year is March with an extended deadline stretching up to April.



OISFF :  Olleh International Smartphone Film Festival


OISFF is a smartphone film festival that’s into its fifth year is perhaps, one of the most exciting ones of the lot here for one simple reason that it not only showcases talented young and first time filmmakers, but offers exciting cash awards as well as smart devices and as a budget filmmaker who doesn’t like cash award, right?  OISFF correctly mentions, “utilizes smartphone devices’ HD film technology with the goal of expanding the utility of smartphones in film production and moving society from an era when audiences only watched films to an era where even audiences are filmmakers.” It is closed for entries as of now, but this should be on your mind next time.



TSFF: Toronto Smartphone Film Festival


Coming from Canada, TSFF is into its fifth year and works on the simple goal of encouraging aspiring filmmakers to show their stories without the need of expensive equipment and still highlighting their talent and their eye for the art. It awards best Canadian film along with best International film and some amazing other awards. It even has a special award for female artists, cool!




Cinephone- International Smartphone Short Film Festival


Another film festival running into its fifth year, Cinephone from Spain accepts films no longer than 15 minutes. The submission is free for everybody and you can go ahead and submit as many films as you wish. No wonder it only accepts films shot on smartphone devices.



Pocket Cinema Festival


The first ever from Pakistan, the Pocket Cinema Festival inspires young and first time filmmakers to go ahead and submit their artistic projects shot using mobile devices from all around the world. You’d acknowledge the fact that the festival understands that making films on your smartphone is a serious affair and those criticizing you for using a mere smartphone aren’t worth listening to. The festival offers cash awards along with various other mobile goddies.


iPhone Film Festival


Don’t go by the name, the iPhone Film Festival allows you to submit your films shot on any mobile device and not just the iPhone. It’s into its sixth iteration and has been quite popular among iPhone filmmakers.




“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.” -Stephen Chbosky
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